When a person sustains a brain injury, the effects are often long lasting. The individual may visually appear normal while actually suffering from a change in personality and mood. The person’s ability to communicate may be impacted as well. These changes can lead to a person not responding to authority such as police officers the way someone who has not had a brain injury would.
Police in North Miami Beach recently experienced this firsthand after an officer shot a mentally disabled man. The 56-year-old man, who sustained a brain injury as a child, died as a result of the shooting.
The police were initially called to the scene after receiving several phone calls in which it was reported a person had a rifle and even pointed it at a pet dog in the neighborhood. The man was shot by a police officer after an altercation. After the man was shot it was discovered that the gun was actually a toy. The injured man was transported to a hospital where he died. While the case is being investigated by the state attorney’s office and the police department, the officer who shot the man is on administrative leave.
Family members of the man who was killed said they did not know where the toy rifle came from. They also indicated he was not violent and was afraid of police officers. As many people would probably understand, the family is seeking responses to their questions. The family also wants the department to make undisclosed changes.
Source: CBS News, “North Miami Beach police kill mentally disabled man carrying toy gun,” Edecio Martinez, Sept. 1, 2011